US Mint Shuts Down Production at West Point Due to Coronavirus Fears
Due to fears of coronavirus, the US Mint is shutting down production of gold and silver coins at its West Point facility. The West Point Mint produces most of the country’s supply of Silver American Eagle and Gold American Eagle bullion coins. According to the Mint, the rising number of coronavirus cases in the area around West Point required increased caution, and so production is coming to a halt. The West Point Mint had previously shut down briefly towards the end of March after an employee contracted COVID-19.
The shutdown comes at a bad time for both the Mint and investors, as investor demand for gold and silver bullion coins is surging. The Mint’s sales of gold coins this month had already increased nearly six-fold over last April’s numbers, and the only reason sales of silver coins were down was because the Mint ran out of silver coins last month and had yet to rebuild its supply. Throughout the world, increased investor demand for physical gold and silver has led to tight supplies and shortages.
While the Mint has transferred production of some silver bullion coins to its mint in Philadelphia, gold coin production will remain offline until the West Point mint reopens. As of right now, there is no timeline for a reopening. That means that not only will the Mint lose out on millions of dollars worth of sales, but investors will also have to face decreased numbers of available coins coming from primary producers.
Gold futures prices have already pointed to a disconnect between the “paper” gold price quoted daily in financial markets, and the prices that investors are actually willing to pay to get their hands on gold rather than take a cash settlement. That disconnect will only increase now that the US Mint is offline, and it indicates that gold prices will only continue to rise as a result of the current tight supply.
For investors who haven’t already invested in gold, particularly if they’re trying to invest in physical gold through a gold IRA, now’s the time to pull the trigger. With supplies running low, prices rising, and continued economic hardship ahead, it will only get more difficult for investors to find gold to buy in the coming months. Don’t wait any longer to take advantage of a gold investment and the safety and security it will offer to your investment portfolio.